Rule of Law in Areas of Limited Statehood


The Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus regions are increasingly characterized by Areas of Limited Statehood (ALS):

  • ALS are territories where governments lack the ability or will to implement and enforce rules, provide essential public services – including law and order – or in which the legitimate monopoly over the means of violence is lacking.
  • ALS often house violent Non-State Actors and experience severe conflict, population displacement, as well as high levels of corruption, criminality, and violence against civilians.
  • ALS can exist over practically the entire territory of a given state (e.g. Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen), part of a state (e.g. Sinai, South Ossetia), or across international borders (the Sahel region). Similarly, statehood can be limited along various dimensions: territorial, sectoral (i.e. regarding certain populations), thematic (i.e. in certain policy areas), or temporal.
  • ALS typically generate a plethora of serious Rule of Law challenges, in terms of both internal Rule of Law conditions and international law. These range from the need to protect civilians from the worst abuses of belligerent and criminal violence, to the provision of basic justice system services in areas where state authority is either fragile or absent, and from the application of fundamental International Humanitarian Law (IHL) standards to Non-State Armed Groups, to the promotion of core Rule of Law norms and institutions in areas characterized by problematic sovereignty or state fragility.

Call for Papers

The Rule of Law in Areas of Limited Statehood: Internal and International Dilemmas

Paper proposals addressing the following topics are being sought:

  • Rule of Law challenges that are either unique to, or especially prevalent in, Areas of Limited Statehood
  • Prevention of extreme violence, R2P, and protection of civilians in Areas of Limited Statehood
  • Protection and promotion of human rights in Areas of Limited Statehood
  • Rule of Law challenges emanating from violent Non-State Armed Groups operating in Areas of Limited Statehood
  • International legal and/or institutional issues emanating from the proliferation of Areas of Limited Statehood (including State Recognition and challenges of recognition/engagement with Non-State Armed Groups and De Facto Regimes)
  • Rule of Law promotion in Areas of Limited Statehood
  • The legality of forceful intervention or use of force in Areas of Limited Statehood

Submission (by March 21st 2016) and Selection (by March 31st 2016)

Please send your proposal (abstract in English of no more than 250 words and short CV) simultaneously to Prof. Jan Wouters at and Dr. Amichai Magen at by March 21st 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by March 31st 2016. Papers should be original works that have not been submitted for publication or published elsewhere. All papers should be in English.

Workshops and Publication

The Rule of Law in Areas of Limited Statehood project will be conducted through two focused workshops. The first workshop will be held on 27-28 June, 2016 at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy, IDC (Herzliya), Israel. The second workshop will be held on 29-30 September at the Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Partial funding is available to support travel and accommodation expenses for speakers. The goal of the project is to produce a Special Issue of a leading social science journal and/or a published volume with a leading academic press. Selected papers will undergo peer review for publication in accordance with the specific requirements of the selected journal/academic press.

First Workshop: June 27-28 2016, Herzliya, Israel

Second Workshop: September 29-30 2016, Leuven, Belgium

Deadline for paper proposals (250 words): March 21st 2016


Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies,

KU Leuven

Dr. Amichai Magen, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, IDC


Dr. Michael Borchard, Director, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Israel Office


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